Sometimes a song or a dance can be so catchy that we find our bodies moving involuntarily to the beat and before long, the whole routine has eventually wormed itself into our heads. That’s exactly what’s happening to thousands of people in Japan, as the “Koi Dance” craze spreads throughout the country, and it’s all thanks to the theme song for a new Japanese drama called "Nigeru wa Haji da ga Yaku ni Tatsu," which translates to Running Away is Shameful but Helpful, but goes by the English title, We Married as a Job!
Currently airing every Tuesday night on TBS, the drama is based on a 2012 manga series by Tsunami Umino, which tells the story of 25 year-old Mikuri Moriyama, played by Yui Aragaki, and 36 year-old Hiramasa Tsuzaki, played by Gen Hoshino. Having just lost her job and facing the prospect of having to move to the country with her parents due to her lack of income, Mikuri moves in with Hiramasa, who she meets after he employs her as a housekeeper following her job loss. The two create the pretense of being a married couple in front of their family and friends, while in actual fact she is earning an income cooking and cleaning for Hiramasa, who acts as her live-in employer.
The story has been captivating audiences around the country since it debuted on 11 October, and the catchy theme song, “Koi”, is also proving to be a hit, with each episode of the series ending with the below clip of the cast dancing to the song.
Adding to the popularity of the tune is the fact that it’s actually sung by Gen Hoshino, the Japanese pop star who plays the lead male character in the series. While Gen plays a nerdy, bespetacled introvert in the TV drama, in real life he actually scrubs up quite nicely, as shown in the official music video for the song, which can be viewed on YouTube, where it’s racked up over 43 million views.
What’s really making news around the country, however, are the dance steps accompanying the song, which is being called the “Koi Dance” (“Love Dance”). It involves cute moves like tapping your chest and making two fingers become one.
The dance, choreographed by MIKIKO, who has produced routines for top performers like Perfume and Babymetal, has caught on around the country, with TV announcers, character mascots, and idols all pictured doing the “Koi Dance” in videos shared on YouTube. Most recently, gold-medal winning figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu was seen dancing to the song, in this grainy clip shared to Twitter by fellow skater Nobunari Oda, which was liked more than 408,000 times.
While the “Koi Dance” routine itself is a lot longer than the last viral song-and-dance phenomenon to come out of Japan – yes, we’re looking at you, Piko Taro – with more episodes of the TV drama series yet to come, the new dance craze is not showing any signs of slowing down!
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